Bridge to Heritage Park

As a child, I was deeply interested in the idea of islands—these isolated, well-defined chunks of land that were separated from everyone else. My favorite LEGO sets were those modeling pirates marooned on desert islands. I wonder what my childhood self would have thought of living in a town with an uninhabited island at its center?

Bridge to Heritage Park

Old Mill and River Reflection

This uninhabited island sits at the center of Canton, New York. While it’s currently a park, the ruins on the island indicate its past as the site of water-powered mills that processed the products of the surrounding farmland. I’m still discovering more of its history, but I’m fascinated by the process that could lead an entire section of a town to be abandoned.

Old Mill and River Reflection

Rapids on the Grasse River in Spring

This image is my submission to the Spring Photo Contest being run by Grasse River Heritage; the river and its associated park are its subject. I delight in being asked to work under requirements—in this case, both a subject and a time of year—because I feel it focuses me. I get to achieve something specific, which adds some delightful pressure to flying my quadcopter around the island.

Rapids on the Grasse River in Spring

Larry’s View

The most senior faculty member in St. Lawrence University’s Department of Chemistry is preparing to retire and I selected this image to present to him. (Shhh, keep it a secret for a few more days.) He often looks out from Johnson Hall of Science, the building in the foreground, north towards the older parts of campus (like the chapel spire above the horizon.) In this image, I hopefully captured for him both where he stands and what he sees so that he can take them with him when he goes.

Larry's View

The Cell

Over the course of the past two years, I’ve used OpenSCAD to design a gas/vacuum cell that can support a pressed silica nanoparticle pellet in front of a variety of spectroscopy systems. The core of the cell was 3D printed in aluminum by Shapeways, with some subsequent facing on our lathe to get good seals with the O-rings. This first version is designed to fit into our fluorimeter.

The Cell I

After using the first cell for a year, I realized I also wanted to be able to attach it to a fiber-optic-based spectrometer. Here, you can see the second cell attached to our Schlenk line.

The Cell II